Not quite. But almost as satisfying, you can make an on-the-spot, citizen’s arrest. You see, under Japanese traffic law, a bicycle is considered a (light) vehicle and as such may not be ridden on the sidewalk. So the next time you’re on the sidewalk and a bicycle rider comes bearing down on you, ringing his bell to get you out of the way, you can grab the guy by the wrist, wrestle him down to the ground, and hold him there until the cops arrive. Yes, the provision is rarely enforced on its own, but for the police, it is sufficient grounds for stopping and questioning you about yourself and the bike before letting you off with an admonishment. Among other things, this means that unban cyclists in Japan are advised to have their IDs on hand. Specifically, gaijin sidewalk cyclists caught out without their IDs can be charged on that infraction, much in the way that NBA basketball players are caught with driving offenses and charged with drug and illegal arms possession.
The citizen’s arrest can be useful on other occasions as well. For example, did you know that under the Misdemeanors Act, Article 1, item 20, you can be detained for up to 29 days or fined between 1000 and 9,999 yen if you “wantonly expose buttocks, thighs and other parts of the body at a place where they would be visible to the public eye in a manner that raises a feeling of disgust among the public”? So, the next time you happen to wander upon the beach and you come across, say, Hoshino Aki in a thong bikini, you can grab the girl by… whatever you can get your hands on, wrestle her down to the ground, and hold her there until the cops arrive. But remember, it’s the “feeling of disgust” that counts. So, if you’re a gaijin, here are the magic Japanese words, rendered phonetically, to keep repeating out loud while you have Hoshino Aki pinned underneath you, just to be sure that the cops don’t haul off the wrong person:
Wa-ta-shi wa ken-o no jō wo mo-yo-o-shi-te-i-ru
(A feeling of disgust has arisen in me).